Notwithstanding the love and admiration feminists have for communist dictatorships, some of the worst atrocities committed against women in modern history have been by leftist regimes. If you doubt that, just ask Cuban women whose sexual and reproductive rights have been trampled on for 65 years by the Castro dictatorship.
Forced abortion in Cuba. How Communist Cuba tramples on the sexual and reproductive rights of women prisoners
In Romania, the communist regime decided that increased fertility was the key to economic growth and outlawed birth control, abortion, and began policing women to “encourage” them to have more babies with the passage of Decree 770 in 1966. The last communist leader of Romania, Nicolae Ceau?escu, announced, “The fetus is the property of the entire society … Anyone who avoids having children is a deserter who abandons the laws of national continuity.” Women had a duty to get pregnant for the state. The experience in Romania was one of the historic examples that inspired Margaret Atwood to write The Hand Maid’s Tale.
Communist regimes in practice have one common feature, a complete disregard for the rights and dignity of the individual. Cuba under the Castro brothers went in the opposite direction from their comrades in Romania. Abortion was encouraged, and even mandated for the purpose of improving health statistics by terminating difficult pregnancies without the consent of the mother, and it now appears to also punish pregnant jailed dissidents.
The Cuban state perpetrates many forms of violence against women. Use of coerced abortion to optimize infant mortality rate in Cuba. Now, a threat of forced abortion against political prisoner Lisdany Rodríguez Isaac. Forced abortion is a violation of human rights, but not a crime internationally. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is looking to rule forced abortion as a war crime and as torture (in Nigeria) which could then be applied to other countries.
The Cuban state announced its intention to force Lisdany Rodríguez Isaac, a Cuban political prisoner from the July 11, 2021 protests (11J), to undergo an abortion. Lisdany is seven weeks pregnant, and, as her mother recently informed Prisoners Defenders, an non-governmental organization based in Spain, the young woman fears for her life and according to Libertad Digital on January 28, 2024 she is being denied access to proper nutrition and medical attention as punishment for not undergoing an abortion.
In addition to “gender violence” by the Cuban state, these abuses also constitute “obstetric violence.” Five independent Cuban journalists spent over a year studying how obstetric violence occurs in the country and why Cuban authorities do not consider it a problem.
Why would the Cuban state consider this a problem when it is the state itself – the owner and master of public health on the island – that practices this kind of violence? The five journalists conducted a survey among 500 women who shared details of their childbirth experiences and interviewed experts, feminist activists, and healthcare professionals.
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